Toward the end of 1922, at the home of the poet Harold Monro, Ford Madox Ford began the work that became a modern classic, Parade’s End. In this house at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a Mediterranean peninsula between Nice and Monaco, Ford started to mull over a major project about the First World War. Writing began in earnest early the following year, and the first volume, Some Do Not . . . , was published in 1924. In 1928 appeared the fourth and final book in the series, The Last Post. A bolder undertaking than Ford’s other famous novel, The Good Soldier (1915), this tetralogy was heralded as one of the best fictional treatments to come out of the cataclysm of 1914–18. The critic and novelist Malcolm Bradbury calls it “the greatest modern war novel from a British...


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